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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

Trump’s anxiety about not being able to measure up to President Barack Obama flared up on Trump’s very first day in office.

Angered by images that showed the crowd for Obama’s inauguration in Washington, D.C. had dwarfed the embarrassingly small turnout for Trump’s, the Republican narcissist immediately demanded a government agency produce new images from the day that made him look more popular.

To pull that off, a photographer for the National Park Service had to crop inauguration pictures to try to eliminate the vast empty spaces and make the event look less sparsely attended.

And that’s how Trump’s sad first day in office unfolded.

“Sean Spicer, then White House press secretary, called NPS officials repeatedly that day in pursuit of the more flattering photographs,” The Guardian reports.

The Guardian filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain a report from the inspector general of the US interior department on how the White House’s petty obsession took shape that day.

The documents reveal that Trump himself called the head of the National Park Service, demanding new images, after social media lit up with photographs contrasting the huge crowds at Obama’s inauguration with the much sparser ones at Trump’s.

Soon a government photographer, who had already covered Trump’s swearing in, was sent back to his office to work on Trump’s request for more favorable images.

“He said he edited the inauguration photographs to make them look more symmetrical by cropping out the sky and cropping out the bottom where the crowd ended,” The Guardian reports. “He said he did so to show that there had been more of a crowd.”

That evening, Spicer made perhaps his most infamous appearance in the White House press briefing room, when he bizarrely berated the media for not reporting that Trump’s inauguration had been a massive, historic success.

“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period,” Spicer falsely announced, before departing the room without taking any questions from befuddled reporters.

The charade was so absurd, it sparked “Saturday Night Live” to immortalize Spicer’s brand of clumsy, angry lies.

For the record, the New York Times conferred with a crowd size expert in 2017, who determined the modest Trump turnout had been “about a third of the size of Mr. Obama’s in 2009.”

Trump’s been falling short of Obama ever since.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 

 

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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The baseless claim that the FBI may have planted evidence while carrying out a court-approved search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on Monday has surged through right-wing media, as the former president’s allies continue their effort to turn their audiences against the probe and shield Trump from accountability.

The FBI searched the premises after obtaining a warrant from a federal magistrate judge and “removed a number of boxes of documents” as part of a federal investigation into whether Trump had illegally “taken a trove of material with him to his home at Mar-a-Lago when he left the White House that included sensitive documents – and then, in the Justice Department’s view, had failed to fully comply with requests that he return the disputed material,” the New York Times reported. Politico concluded after consulting with legal experts on the handling of classified documents that “it’s highly unlikely the DOJ would have pursued – and a judge would have granted – such a politically explosive search warrant without extraordinary evidence.”

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